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THE FMI REPORT – AUGUST 2003
THE BIG BLACKOUT, G12 FOLLOW-UP, ARE YOU OFFENDED? MEL'S PASSION!
"WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE OF GOOD REPORT... THINK ON THESE THINGS" PHIL. 4:8
Welcome! What a pleasure it is to be in touch with you again. First, we would like to thank all those of you who have been forwarding these messages to friends and family.
In This Month's Report:
"Our hearts and prayers should go out to Chief Justice Moore as he continues his valiant fight to acknowledge the Judeo-Christian principles that have guided our country so well for over two centuries.... It is bad enough when the electricity is turned off for a few hours. Think about what condition our country would be in without having the Ten Commandments to illuminate our lives during the last two centuries. What if the secular lobby triumphs repeatedly and we spend the next 50 years or more in an ever-increasing spiritual blackout? It's a pretty scary thought." - Paul M. Weyrich
On August 17, practically the entire Northeast of America and Canada were subject to a power failure right at afternoon peak hour. Scenes of thousands of people walking the freeways of New York City, taking the routes home that would normally be taken by their cars or buses, filled our TV screens for hours. A 9/11 sensitized city responded with an orderly chaos. Thousands of drivers took strangers home to the same neighborhoods. Expected looting and other crimes did not come to pass, as some media outlets had predicted. I had to cancel my scheduled ministry in the Bronx that night as the main arteries in and out of the city were choked. It was characterized as 'The Big Blackout of '03!'
THE MILLENNIAL TWILIGHT
Even though the blackout only lasted for a little over 24 hours, the repercussions spread around the world, are still being felt, and the lawsuits soon began to flow. However, there is an even greater blackout that has been affecting America for the last 40 years. An increasing spiritual and moral darkness began to creep across the land in the twilight of the last millennium. A 'foolish virgin' church (Matt. 25) didn't have enough oil to make it through the night. Its light grew dim and seemed to be unable to hold back the encroaching darkness. A subtle agenda began to slowly work its way through western culture like a cancer that sneaks up on you and is not noticed until it is too late. A little bit of leaven leavened just about the whole lump.
The education system was gradually dumbed-down and saturated with relativism so that moral compasses were confused to the point that the emerging generation could not tell north from south anymore. On this decline, Thomas Sowell recently had this astute observation, "In the long run, the greatest weapon of mass destruction is stupidity. In an age of artificial intelligence, too many of our schools are producing artificial stupidity, in the sense of ideas and attitudes far more foolish than young people would have arrived at on their own.... Weapons of mass destruction in the hands of an avowed enemy can destroy many Americans, but they cannot destroy America, because we are too strong and too capable of counter attack. Only Americans can destroy America. Too many of our schools have for years been quietly undermining the values and abilities that are needed to preserve any society - and especially a free society."
OLD WINE THINKING
So we come to Justice Moore's dilemma, one which tries to mix the oil and water of religion and politics and raises doubts about America being a 'free society' any longer. 'Old wine' thinking would have the church stay out of politics and secularists fight to keep it so, but it is because the church has swallowed the lie that it is not entitled to a voice in the governing of men's affairs that the bigger blackout is here! Executive Chairman of the Australian Christian Lobby, Jim Wallace addressed a meeting of the NSW Council of Churches a few days ago. His topic, 'Politics: What Can the Churches Do?' He said that the Church's role is to keep Christian principles well to the fore in public life and community debate. This must be done so that the potential deviations of business and politics are ameliorated and the rights of the disenfranchised are represented and protected. Wallace argues that by its nature, politics plays lightly with the truth, business pushes the bounds of ethics for profit, and special interest groups focus down on narrow and self-serving agendas. Hence the need for the Churches to stand for the interests of those who lack power and influence to make their voice heard.
According to the Religion News Service, Richard Cohen is one of the lawyers who sued to challenge the display placed by Chief Justice Roy Moore. The 2.5-ton monument that once stood in the middle of the building's rotunda now resides in a locked storage room. Moore said he intends to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court... Cohen said protesters, who have bemoaned an erosion of religious rights, have twisted what the lawsuit tried to do. The lawsuit was about protecting religious freedom, he said. "The case was never an attack on religion. Justice Moore wanted to promote one religion to the exclusion of others," he said. This last statement clearly reveals the 'doctrine' of political correctness that is endeavoring to masquerade as mainstream thinking. The United States was founded as a Christian nation, but certain interest groups would have 'other gods!' The most recent survey revealed that 75% of Americans did not approve of the Supreme Court Justice's decision to remove the Ten Commandments Monument in Alabama. So much for democracy. It now appears that an unelected judge has more power than the people. The clash over the Ten Commandments is just the latest skirmish in a much larger clash between competing and incompatible world views vying for the heart of America.
THIS IS YOUR WAKE-UP CALL
Church, it's time for us to wake up and let our light shine so brightly
that the encroaching darkness will be pushed back and the moral and
ethical 'night' held at bay! We are in an age where we seem to be getting closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did, but we are all responsible for what somebody else did.
It's time to take responsibility, corporately as the church, but also
personally. Each cell must be healthy before the body will be in good
health. It starts with YOU!
"Dear Brother Jeff, Blessings in Jesus! It is such a blessing to know that you are doing so well with our Lord and His ministry through you all over this State of New Jersey. We are so honored for your obedience unto the Lord to reside here in our state. May our wonderful Father on High use you mightily to bring in the end-time harvest promised to us for His Glory. Just letting you know, we here at Living Victory Church still praying for you faithfully every week and trusting the Lord to accomplish His perfect plan for your life and for New Jersey.... We will continue to pray for you as you take His Glorious Gospel through the entire State of NJ - one of the battlegrounds of this nation. Remember to 'Fight the good fight, my friend!' God Bless. Love In Christ, Pastor Manna Evans, Living Victory Church, Trenton, NJ
- "Dear Fellow Ministers, as many of you know, City Covenant Coalition had a G12 Conference in July with Cesar Castellanos and Larry Stockstill. Many pastors have called this conference the most important event they have ever attended in terms of the practical help and strategy they received for their local church. We had a nighttime attendance of about 1,000, with about 300 pastors and leaders attending our daytime sessions. The 100 or more pastors attending our CCC monthly
Minister's Forum with Larry Stockstill (which preceded the general conference) was not only outstanding in terms of receiving an impartation from the guest minister, but also because of the covenantal expression of love shown by those present to host Pastor Marcus Roberts, who needed $7,000 in two days to pay the monthly church mortgage; he received almost $15,000 in less than five minutes. (Altogether, the conference raised about $24,000 for Calvary Cathedral of Praise! What a testimony as to the relevance and need for pastors
to come together in networks such as CCC!)
Last month we were at the following churches and events:
Pastor Raul Burgos was born in the Dominican Republic. In July 1997, he helped start Christ Fellowship along with the other four pastors (Senior Pastor, Gary Hartley). In May 1998, he and his wife began Comunidad Christiana, a Spanish fellowship out of Christ Fellowship in Elizabeth, NJ. It was a thrill to see so many young Hispanic people (average age 25) out so early (9am) on Sunday morning. Pastor Raul also has a long history of leading worship and on the morning I ministered at his church, he prepared the people well to receive the word. The accomplished musicians, with the excellent percussion section, lifted the church to a high level of praise and intimate worship to the Lord. There was a large response to my altar call after the challenge of the message, and we saw that repeated in the second service with Pastor Hartley's church. Great things are happening in Elizabeth, NJ.
"Dear Pastor Beacham, Thank you for your blessing you gave Ryan and I on Sunday night. We both were so touched by the way you extended your love and support. We really appreciate you and I am always a little sad when you have to leave, but your ministry to us is always in our hearts. Thank you for leaving Australia to come to this country. My appreciation goes to your entire family for the sacrifice they made. Glad TIdings is one church that will be eternally changed for the better because of your family's act of obedience. Thanks again for your blessing over our marriage and also for ministering so beautifully the Word of the Lord! We love you and your family very much and we look forward to seeing you again.... May many blessings come to you for your service in Christ.... Vicki Oswald and Ryan Palaganas, Mt. Ephraim, NJ"
ARE YOU OFFENDED, OR ARE YOU
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God and the Canaanites - How do we respond to the destruction of the Canaanites in the Old Testament? Embarrassment? Moral problem?
MEL GIBSON'S FILM - YOU CAN HELP
- Dave Bruce of hollywoodjesus.com writes: "Our message board for Mel Gibson's THE PASSION is being overloaded by pre-Christians. I can not get to them all. The board is running 75% pre-Christian, with very few solid Christians responding to those who are anti-Jesus. I have never seen anything like this!
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GOD THOUGHTS: "Two things fill my mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me." - Immanuel Kant
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